Ever wondered how your credit score matches up to the rest of the country? Wonder no more, as we take a look at how we’re scoring as a nation.
So you know what your credit score looks like, but do you know how it measures up to the rest of the UK? From how to check your own score to what makes a good credit score, we’ve covered everything.
Is there just one average credit score?
Your credit score is the number that tells lenders how reliable you are when it comes to debt. However, it may surprise you to know that you don’t just have one universal credit score; you’re ranked differently by different credit agencies. In fact, each agency has a different maximum score:
Equifax average credit score
Equifax has a maximum credit score of 700. According to credit rating company ClearScore, the average UK Equifax credit score stands at 380 - which is considered ‘fair’, but only just.
Here’s how Equifax rate credit scores:
You can check your Equifax credit report and score for free using ClearScore, or by signing up to a free month’s trial at Equifax.
Experian average credit score
The maximum Experian credit score is 999 and theaverage score among its customers is 759 - which is rated as a ‘fair’ credit score.
You can check out your Experian credit score for free, though it will cost you £7.99 a month if you’d also like to see your full report (which shows your credit history and financial associations etc). If you want to see this, you can sign up for a free trial which lasts for 30 days.
TransUnion average credit score
TransUnion rate your credit score out of 710. While they haven’t yet released the UK average credit score, they have said the best regional credit score can be found by those living in Kingston-upon-Thames, London who score an average of 547. The lowest average credit score was found in Cleveland, with residents scoring an average of 513.
Here’s how they rank credit scores:
Average credit score by region
Want to know what your neighbour’s credit score looks like? Experian (who score out of 999) released the average credit scores by location. The worst credit scores in the UK on average are:
1) St. Helens – 692
2) Hartlepool – 690
3) Merthyr Tydfil – 688
4) Middlesbrough – 683
5) North East Lincolnshire – 682
6) North Ayrshire – 678
7) Blaenau Gwent – 674
8) Knowsley – 674
9) Blackpool – 672
10) Kingston-upon-Hull - 661
And the best average credit scores can be found in:
1) Isles of Scilly – 848
2) Chiltern – 848
3) Waverly – 843
4) West Oxfordshire – 843
5) St Albans – 842
6) Elmbridge – 841
7) Wokingham – 841
8) Brentwood – 840
9) Hart – 840
10) South Cambridgeshire - 840
You can find out what the average credit score is where you live by heading over here.
So, what is a ‘good’ credit score?
Now we know what an average credit score looks like, you might be wondering what makes a ‘good’ credit score. According to the information from the credit reference agencies above, you’d need to score these figures to be eligible for the more attractive credit deals:
Equifax - 420-465
Experian - 881-960
TransUnion - 604–627
Want to improve your credit score?
If your credit score is a little lagging or damaged by past mistakes, don’t be disheartened. Your credit score can change for the better over time by making positive steps like these:
Pay off credit debt (if you can) - Lenders like to see you using credit - but not all of it. Sticking to less than 30% of your overall limit can make you seem responsible, so if you can reduce your debt to this figure, your credit score could rise.
Join the Electoral Roll - To help lenders identify you, sign up to vote. This only takes minutes and it’s a really simple way to boost your credit score.
Always pay on time, every time - If you have existing credit agreements, set up alerts and pay with Direct Debit to make sure you never miss a payment. Even if you’ve made mistakes in the past, keeping up with current debts will help you improve your credit score.
Keep applications low - Applying for credit means lenders need to check your credit report, which will leave a search on your history. Too many searches can make it seem like you’re desperate to get your hands on money, which could be off-putting to some lenders.
Tip: try checking if you’re eligible before you apply to help keep applications low.